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Getting Started With PackML
David Sestrich

Getting Started With PackML

PackML, or Packaging Machine Language is a programming standard defined by the Organization for Machine Automation and Control (OMAC) as defined by the International Society of Automation's Technical Report 88. It is meant to be a convenient project template that can be used in discrete manufacturing of many products, from bottled drinks to wrapped candy. I thought it would be helpful to assemble this guide of PackML basics for anyone who is getting started with this standard. PackML h...

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DMC Quote Board - June 2017
Jessica Mlinaric

DMC Quote Board - June 2017

Visitors to DMC may notice our ever-changing "Quote Board," documenting the best engineering jokes and employee one-liners of the moment.      

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DMC Takes a Stroll for PAWS 17th Annual 5K Walk/Run
Molly Graham

DMC Takes a Stroll for PAWS 17th Annual 5K Walk/Run

On Sunday, June 4th, a group of DMCers and friends got together for the 17th Annual PAWS Chicago 5K Walk/Run along Lake Michigan at Montrose Beach. We were joined by tons of other local pet lovers. The dog to human ratio was very close to 50/50, and the air was filled with the sounds of lots of happy yips, barks, and panting. What is PAWS? Nearly 9,000 cats and dogs are euthanized in Chicago each year because they don’t have a home, but PAWS Chicago finds homes for heal...

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SITEC 2017 Siemens Open Library Presentation
Jeff McCormick

SITEC 2017 Siemens Open Library Presentation

Recently, I had the privilege of speaking at the 2017 SITEC National Conference. I shared my experience as the lead developer on the Siemens Open Library and demonstrated how to utilize and contribute to the Open Library. Per Siemens, the SITEC Conference aims to keep engineers and specialists up-to-date on the latest products and technologies from Siemens by providing, "specific, effective and customized training along with a certification path to ensu...

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DMC Houston Hosts Another Texas-Sized YOE 
Molly Graham

DMC Houston Hosts Another Texas-Sized YOE 

Remember last year when DMC employees went down to Texas to check out our Houston office for the first ever Houston YOE? Well, we did it again!  What is a YOE anyway? DMC’s YOEs, or Yearly Office Events, are a partially sponsored gathering of DMC employees and their friends that each of our six offices hosts near their location. In Denver, we go skiing, in Chicago, we go to the lake, Boston likes to head to the shore, and our newest offices (New York and St. Louis) ...

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Geek Challenge Results: The Perfect Bracket
Cameron Fyfe

Geek Challenge Results: The Perfect Bracket

Congratulations to Grant Anderson of DMC, Michael Deck of Avant, and John Jacobsma! All correctly answered last month’s Geek Challenge with C: 93.424%! Michael Deck is this challenge’s winner for his extensive solution that not only solves the proposed problem but handles more involved aspects not considered by the OP.  Michael’s solution is below. 1 Introduction The problem is stated here. 2 Solution 2.1 Main solution First, we set forth the probability ...

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Selecting a Pricing Tier in Azure: Don't Forget About Bandwidth
Peter Rijks

Selecting a Pricing Tier in Azure: Don't Forget About Bandwidth

Microsoft Azure is an enterprise-grade cloud service platform: a complete set of secure application services for computing, storage, data, networking, and app development. When considering your specific needs, the Azure Pricing Calculator is a great tool to estimate in advance how much you might expect to spend on an Azure solution. Not immediately obvious is that the calculator doesn’t automatically include pricing for bandwidth.  In many cases, bandwidth pricing won’t have ...

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Automated Display for Colorado Ski Conditions
Cameron Fyfe

Automated Display for Colorado Ski Conditions

DMC Denver has been enjoying another great ski season. Every year, we find ourselves frequently checking weather forecasts and snow reports to track how much snow our favorite mountains are getting. So during a recent FedEx Day, I decided to automate a system for acquiring and displaying this data on a desktop LCD! On FedEx Day, everyone works on a project that interests them that they think will improve DMC which must absolutely, positively be delivered by the end of the day...

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DMC Quote Board - March 2017
Jessica Mlinaric

DMC Quote Board - March 2017

Visitors to DMC may notice our ever-changing "Quote Board," documenting the best engineering jokes of the moment.

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Automatic HMI Connection Fail-over in TIA Portal with the S7-400H
Jason Mayes

Automatic HMI Connection Fail-over in TIA Portal with the S7-400H

For anyone who has spent much time working with the SIMATIC S7-400H, it becomes quickly apparent that the devil is often in the details. You find that there are many small settings and 'tricks' that you uncover while setting up redundancy, redundant Modbus communication, redundant communication interfaces for I/O, configuring hardware, etc., that you need to get things running. Sometimes those small details are hard to catch. In the words of my wise colleague Lillian Walker, "The re...

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BlueGecko BGScript Development with VScode
Tyler Brink

BlueGecko BGScript Development with VScode

This tutorial will outline the process to configure Visual Studio Code for developing Blue Gecko script code. It assumes you have some familiarity with the BlueGecko scripting language. If not, check out the developer guide. Blue Gecko scripting is a high level programming language designed for the Silicon Labs line of Blue Gecko Bluetooth modules. Installation Download and install the BLE SDK and the BLE Update Tool using the default location and agree to licenses.&...

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FedEx Day Fosters Continuous Innovation
Molly Graham

FedEx Day Fosters Continuous Innovation

DMC recently held our 7th FedEx Day across all offices. On FedEx Day, everyone in the company works on a project that interests them and that they think will improve DMC. It’s one of our favorite company traditions! It's called a FedEx Day because part of the project must absolutely, positively be delivered by the end of the day. You can read about past FedEx Days on our blog: here, here, here, here, here, and here. Also, check out this classic FedEx Day video! How Does FedEx Day...

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Automatically Change Windows System Sounds
Frank May

Automatically Change Windows System Sounds

For those of you who are impatient, click here to download the completed executable, and see the results below. Have you ever said: “UGH, these Windows system sounds are so bland” And then wished you could change them to something better, and do it to all your company computers, but didn’t want to go through the hassle of clicking through Windows system settings while explaining to your coworkers what you’re doing to their computer? ME TOO! That’s...

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12 Days of DMChristmas
Patrick Smith

12 Days of DMChristmas

DMC's Chicago office gets in the holiday spirit with their own take on a Christmas classic. Check out the video for some caroling fun!   Learn more about DMC's company culture.

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Star Wars Christmas Light Show
Boris Cherkasskiy

Star Wars Christmas Light Show

The Original Light Show I originally made this light show in 2014. It was Christmas time, and I happened to be hankering for a project, so we decided to decorate the house with a few LED lights and some Christmas mood music. It took me a few evenings and about $50 to complete the electrical part and wiring using a bunch of Arduinos and RF boards. I used NRF24L01 radios to control the lights from my PC and eliminate cables in my house.  I created the light sequences using an open so...

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DMC’s Thanksgiving Food Drive
Steven Dusing

DMC’s Thanksgiving Food Drive

Thanksgiving is a time of year that revolves around food. Everyone looks forward to feasting on turkey, mashed potatoes and other sides, and yummy desserts. These are the usual trimmings of the Thanksgiving holiday, but this year, we wanted to pay special attention to the true meaning of Thanksgiving, which is gratitude.  That’s why this Thanksgiving, DMC held a food drive for our Chicago neighbors who are in need this holiday season. If you think about it, there is no better way t...

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Here's How One Team at DMC Used $500 to Make People's Day in NYC
Frank May

Here's How One Team at DMC Used $500 to Make People's Day in NYC

DMC holds an All Day Company Meeting (ADCM) a few times a year for each office. These meetings are done offsite at a fun location. The day is usually split into two parts: a morning meeting where we discuss something business related, and an afternoon part where we do something fun. This ADCM, the fun activity was "The DMC Cares Challenge". The New York and Boston offices joined forces and then divided into teams of 5-6 people. Each team had the afternoon to use $500 to&nb...

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DMC Boston Hires a T-Rex
Frank May

DMC Boston Hires a T-Rex

In an effort to hire an experienced candidate, DMC Boston hires a Tyrannosaurus rex. Check out the video below!   Learn more about DMC's company culture.

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DMC Chicago Beach Volleyball 2016
Andrew Griesemer

DMC Chicago Beach Volleyball 2016

After a record-setting beach volleyball season last year, we returned for our sophomore effort at North Avenue Beach. A new class of DMC hires brought some fresh blood to the team. For much of the season our team was also supplemented with new employees training in the Chicago office who would eventually make their way to New York, Denver, and Boston. With so many people, we often scrimmaged each other on a different volleyball court or in a game of frisbee. We made it to the champi...

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DMC on Tour: Modernization Made Easy on the E&M New Stuff Road Show
Ryan Taylor

DMC on Tour: Modernization Made Easy on the E&M New Stuff Road Show

Jimmy Condon and I joined E&M on the 2016 edition of their annual New Stuff Road Show to help Siemens showcase their new Modernization Made Easy initiative that was launched this year. The two-week tour, which stretched from Sacramento to San Diego, was a great opportunity to connect vendors, system integrators, and end-users and give hands-on access to the latest in automation technology. In addition to answering a wide variety of general automation questions, drinking lots of coffee,...

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